Biglerville's late field goal seals share of Division III title
As Ben Hurda and Scott Cooper reveled in championship glory minutes after Biglerville's division-clinching win, they discussed a key 24-yard pass they executed late in Friday's game. They then stopped for a second to reminisce on past times.
"I went to my go-to guy, Scott Cooper," Hurda, the quarterback, said of his pass to Cooper on fourth-and-long to set up the Canners' game-winning score in a 17-14 win against Bermudian Springs. "Since the seventh grade."
Cooper grinned and turned to his teammate.
"Hey, remember eighth grade?" he asked, pointing to one of the end zones at Bermudian Springs' Alumni Field.
Hurda's eyes lit up as he realized exactly what Cooper was talking about, a long pass the quarterback threw to his go-to wide receiver that was tipped by a defender and fell into Cooper's arms for a game-winning score as time expired in a game that had been tied seconds earlier.
On Friday night, four years after that dramatic play, the pair hooked up for another unlikely play against their biggest rival, this time in the opposite end zone. Moments after Hurda had been sacked to push the Canners into a fourth-and-long situation in a tied game, Cooper ran past the Eagles linebackers, nestled in front of the safety and caught a bullet from Hurda to give Biglerville a first down in the red zone.
"We had them right where we wanted, all we had to do was keep them in front of us, but we just didn't make a play there," Bermudian Springs coach Jon DeFoe said.
Colton Sentz kicked a 35-yard field goal to give the Canners the win a few plays later, launching the ball through the uprights behind what DeFoe called his team's "cursed" end zone. Littlestown scored a game-winning touchdown as time expired to break a 39-game Eagles regular-season winning streak in that end zone in 2013, and New Oxford kicked a game-winning field goal past that same end zone as time expired in this season's opener. The Eagles also saw a 28-yard field goal of their own clank off the post on that side of the field in the first quarter Friday.
When Sentz sent his game-winning kick through the uprights with 8.8 seconds remaining, it marked the first time he'd ever kicked under that sort of pressure.
"I had faith in it," he said. "I had faith in everybody to do their job, I just had to do my job."
The kick gave Biglerville (7-3, 6-1) its first win against Bermudian Springs (5-5, 5-2) since 2008, and its first division title since that same season when the Canners split the Division III crown with the Eagles and Delone Catholic. This season, Biglerville split with Hanover, the team it beat last week.
"I know a lot of people in the community really wanted this bad," said Canners coach Alex Ramos, who took over as head coach in 2012. "It's a team win, but it's not just for our players and our coaches right now. It's for our ex-players, the community members, it's for everybody in Biglerville."
The win also ensured that Biglerville will qualify for the District 3 Class AA playoffs. Those brackets will be announced Saturday morning, and it's a possibility that the Canners will rematch Hanover in next week's first round.
For Bermudian Springs, the loss likely brings a close to a season that saw the Eagles start 0-4 but rally to win five straight games.\
"I'm disappointed for them, but I'm proud and not disappointed in them," DeFoe said of his players. "Most teams that started 0-4 would've punched the clock and finished 2-8, 1-9 or 0-10. We came all the way back and played in a championship game."
Big — Ben Hurda 2 run (Colton Sentz kick), 5:32.
BeS — Brandon Jackson 74 pass from Tristan Hoke (Noah Aeppli kick), 5:15
Big — Dayne Showers 5 run (Sentz kick) 3:37.
BeS — Hoke 1 run (Aeppli kick), 3:01.
Big — Sentz 35 field goal, 0:08.
Rushing — Big, Colton Sentz 13-36, Scott Cooper 3-2, Dayne Showers 7-32, Ben Hurda 7-(-3). BeS, Ashton West 20-76, Devon Hodgen 13-49, Ethan Frank 3-17, Tristan Hoke 4-(-7).
Passing — Big, Hurda 12-27-1-209. BeS, Hoke 7-13-1-179.
Receiving — Big, Gage McAuliffe, 5-102, Nate Newberry 3-35, Showers 2-35, Sentz 1-13, Cooper 1-24. BeS, Hodgen 5-86, West 1-19, Brandon Jackson 1-74.